Saugerties young people recognized for doing good deeds

Mayor William Murphy and Mary Olsen, who chairs the SAGE awards program, presented awards to Meredith Montano, Kierstin Benson and Sierra Hogan. (photo by Robert Ford)

Saying it was “my favorite part of being mayor,” Saugerties village mayor William Murphy presented Saugerties Community Youth Awards to three village students at the June 19 village board meeting.

The award program was created by the Saugerties is About Growth Experiences (SAGE committee), which recognizes students in the village and town for making good choices and doing good deeds.


Those receiving awards at Monday night’s meeting were:

Meredith Montano, a student at the middle school, was nominated by Hope Antonelli, advisor to the school’s Builder’s Club. “Entering a new school causes many challenges,”

said Antonelli. She said Montano had embraced all of the challenges students face when going to the middle school with grace.

“Meredith is an excellent student and athlete, and has not missed one Builder’s Club event,” Antonelli said of her student. “She volunteers for everything she can and raises funds like a trouper.”

Kierstin Benson, also a seventh grader at the middle school, was nominated by Antonelli, who says of her student, “Kierstin is an all-around amazing student. She is also a kid that works tirelessly to help others. Kierstin has not missed a single event and has gone above and beyond to share the great causes that money is raised for in the Builder’s Club.”

Sierra Hogan, a high school student, was nominated by AnnChris Warren of the Saugerties Area Boys and Girls Club. Warren said Hogan “has made an effort to participate in all of the teen programing, which includes the Keystone leadership program, and Job Ready, a program that teaches skills-building such as how to build solar panels, small houses, as well as all the basic skills one needs to acquire a job.”

“She has been an avid leader in these programs,” Warren continued. “Last year, Sierra was one of the club’s Youth of the Year and proposed many great ideas on how programming could be built to better support youth that are struggling with depression or other mental health issues.”

Hogan also helps coordinate a volunteer project to help homeless people in the area.

“One of Hogan’s best qualities is her natural mentorship …. Younger members of the club gravitate to her, as she is always there to help them with their homework, listen to them read or talk, or gently guide them in correcting their behavior.”